Friday, January 1, 2010
posted at A Community Chaplain
I have began 2010 reading a book called, "The Passionate Church" by Mike Breen and Walt Kallestad. In this post I want to share with you a little from this book that I believe God wants you to consider.
For those of you who work for a church organization you might find some of what I share disagreeable. I have been known to be somewhat of a challenge because I think outside of the box and because I challenge leaders to look outside of the box they have placed themselves in. I have to admit that I am influenced by a church model that is outside of the traditional church model but in my opinion it is what unchurched people are looking for.
On page 20 the authors state this: "As pastors, we understand the turmoil church leaders are dealing with today. For the past decade it has become apparent that the modern church models and methods are no longer effective. High control/low accountability church leadership systems are not working. The preoccupation with programs, property, and products is missing the mark. We know that you want to see real life-change in your people and to see your church grow. We know you want your church to make a difference in your community and in the world. Jesus showed us the way in his teaching his disciples 2,000 years ago. It is the only way."
If we take an honest look efforts at evangelism some are based on mailings, service projects and sometimes hype. Those things in themselves are not necessarily wrong but they do not produce disciples.
On page 21 Mike & Walt state this: "Jesus left only one plan for church growth: multiplication through disciples making disciples. "but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1: 8
It has been my experience that leaders sometimes do all of the things to get people to attend services but fail to develop the discipleship process that will keep them coming back. That process involves the whole body of Christ and requires a development of close relationships with those who come as a result of the evangelistic activity. We can have great worship and even a meaningful relatable sermon but unless we have community people who we would look at as unchurched will not keep coming.
As leaders in the church we need to do three things: 1. Study the culture we live in, 2. Read the Bible and 3. Build the church. Many in our culture today come from broken homes and to many family was not a safe institution. Many in our culture today even if they attended church as youth do not know the scriptures. Many in our culture believe that the church is an organization with a name and a building. If we study our culture we will know that we might find that talking church talk on Sunday mornings is something unchurched people in our community do not get nor relate to and might even be turned off by. If we study our culture we might find that many cannot relate to refrences about the church being a family and it might even cause fear in them. If we study our culture we might find that even people who grew up in the church were not taught scripture and do not understand how to study the Bible. Finally, if we study our culture we might find that we need to build disciples is how to build the church.
Creating disciples requires two things: 1. Building relationships 2. Teaching the Bible. Both of these are best done through the concept of home groups also known as small groups or life groups. What we pastors do on Sunday mornings are important but what takes place in the home group is far more important. The church through home groups develop relationships and a more intimate study of scriptures is experienced, which results in disciples of Jesus Christ being formed.
"The Every Church Guide to Growth" by Elmer Towns, C. Peter Wagner & Thom S. Rainer
"The Barbarian Way" by Erwin Raphael McManus
"Power Evangelism" by John Wimber"Reap the Harvest" by Joel Comiskey
Posted by Larry Clark at 9:39 PM